Dear Centenary Family,
I must admit that it has been hard to concentrate on certain aspects of work and ministry because of the recent events in Charlottesville. My feelings have run the gamut from disbelief, to anger, to sorrow. Perhaps yours have also.
But if you have been distracted, I think that is probably a good thing. God calls us to pay attention to the world God created. God calls us to be sensitive to those places where there is pain, confusion, heartache, and conflict just as much as God calls us to be aware of those places where there is incredible beauty, joy, and wonder. Just as the world is God's business, so it is ours.
One of the things that helped me regain my focus and perspective this week was the Prayer Vigil some of us attended on Wednesday night at Third Street Bethel AME Church. The church was full and the prayers and messages reminded us that hatred and evil, unfortunately, are not new. They may ebb and flow, but must be constantly resisted. And the form of our resistance is always love. We must hold firm to the conviction, as so many have in the past, whether through the pogroms in Europe, the holocaust, or the Civil Rights movement, that love will finally prevail in the end.
That conviction is nurtured by our fellowship with each other. It is also nurtured through worship and prayer, as well as working actively to bear witness to the power of love in the ways God calls each of us to do that.
I had an opportunity to offer a prayer for healing at the service Wednesday evening. In working on that prayer, I came across a prayer by William Temple (1881-1944) who served as the Archbishop of Canterbury. There is one paragraph in that prayer that has helped me. It is helpful because it asks God to help us remember those moments in our lives when we have felt excluded or demeaned in any way, not so we can calculate our revenge, but so we can understand others. It also asks God to help us each be honest with ourselves about how we may have caused pain for others by judging them or excluding them. There is much work to be done right now in our world, God's world that God loves. But all of us are also invited to do some hard work on ourselves, by considering our own pain, and by honestly asking how we have hurt others by our thoughts, attitudes, words, and actions. Temple says it more eloquently than I can:
Enable us to recall any pain we ourselves have felt because others belittled or rejected us, so that our concern may be genuine; enable us to recall any pain we have caused others by judging and excluding them, so that our concern may be free from self-righteousness. This we pray in the name of Jesus, who was scorned because he came from Nazareth. Amen.
If you don't know quite what to do right now, I'd invite you to pray that prayer daily for a time and see where it might lead you in your own growth, understanding, and action.
P.S. Last Sunday's sermon was about Joseph's experience of being thrown in a pit and sold as a slave. My title was "The View from the Pit." This Sunday, we come to the climax of this great story and of the book of Genesis. The text is Genesis 45:1-15. My title is "The View from the Palace." Sometimes it's just as difficult to deal with success and prosperity as it is to handle adversity and disappointment!
This Weekend at Centenary
8:40 am - Informal Worship Service
10:00 am - Sunday School for all ages
11:00 am - Traditional Worship Service
Senior Pastor Matt Bates will preach "The View from the Palace" based on the scripture reading Genesis 45:1-15.
A Challenge from Bishop Lewis to Read the Bible with Her in 2017
This week's readings:
Outreach, Mission and Service Opportunities
Driver(s) Needed for our Syrian Refugee Family
A driver or drivers are needed to take Shazia Rahmaty (the mom) to physical therapy on Tuesday, September 5, 12, 19, and 26 (at 4 pm). They live in the West End off Staples Mill near Hermitage High School. The appointments are not far from their house. Driver(s) would just need to pick her up and drop her off, as her husband will pick her up after the appointment. Driver(s) would not have to be 'vetted' by the IRC. We just need for them to be reliable. Please contact Nancy (cell phone 804-495-5674 or email firstname.lastname@example.org) or Vic Grand (cell phone 804-495-5674).
One of the classes at Chimborazoo Elementary School (located at 3000 E Marshall Street in Richmond) is in need of chair bags. These hang on the back of students' chairs to give them a place to store their books and school supplies. If interested and available to make one or more, please contact Ann Davis at email@example.com.
Meals Needed for Two CARITAS Locations
Two locations - St. David's Episcopal (1801 Camborne Road in North Chesterfield) and Grace Baptist Church (4200 Dover Road in Richmond) have been secured for August 26 through September 8, but neither church has the volunteers to provide meals. CARITAS has created a new sign-up website for individuals to sign up to provide a meal for these and other locations. If you are able to help, please go to www.SignUpGenius.com/go/5080F4FADAB2AAAFE3-caritas.
Want a minimum of 10 months of "feel-good" moments? Join the Outreach Committee today. If interested, please let Nancy Cook (firstname.lastname@example.org) know as soon as possible. A small sampling of Outreach's projects: Rise Against Hunger (2x yr), golf tournament (2x yr), Walk-in Ministry, donations to Richmond incarcerated, support for refugee family, Thanksgiving food donations, and more! Outreach would enjoy your participation. As my granny used to say, "Many hands make small work." Thanks for your consideration.
Altar Guild Volunteers
Interested in serving? We are in need of a few willing and eager volunteers to help with the altar guild duties. If you feel lead to help and would like to serve, please contact the church office at
Items for School Kits
With back-to-school sales already starting in the stores, this is the ideal time to pick up items for the school kits we will be assembling for the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) this year. The items we really need to complete kits are: pads of wide ruled paper (spiral or top bound pads 150 sheets or less, can also be packages of loose leaf paper 150 sheets or less), pencil sharpeners (handheld - must be at least 1 inch long),
1 pair blunt scissors (rounded tip only, not plastic scissors),
24-count boxes of crayons (must be 24 count),
30 centimeter ruler (hard or flexible, no advertisements), u
nsharpened pencils (no advertisements, religious, patriotic, military or camouflage symbols, cartoon characters are acceptable), and
2 ½ inch erasers (no advertisements, religious, patriotic, military or camouflage symbols, cartoon characters are acceptable).
Read more about the school kits here.
The UMW Annual Pecan Sale is here! To order, sign up on the list on the bulletin board across from the kitchen. Please note - extras bags of pecans will not be ordered this year so be sure to get in your order.
Monday, September 4: New Shoes for Back to School
Children in the Richmond Metro area are gearing up to go back to school. It's a very exciting time for many children! However, many families are not able to afford comfortable, solid footwear for their children. When shoes are worn out, too tight, or otherwise uncomfortable, children have difficulty focusing on their studies. At Centenary, we have the opportunity to do something about this problem! One way we can help is by donating new shoes for these children. All sizes are needed! Children from kindergarten to high school need to start the new school year on the "right foot." There is a table in the sanctuary for donations: shoes must be new, and sneakers are preferred (please no high heels, sandals, or bedroom slippers). If you prefer, there is a piggy bank where money may be placed for us to purchase needed shoes. Another way you can help is to sign up to volunteer to help on Labor Day. The drive will be held in two locations this year; Centenary volunteers will be helping at the downtown location at Third Street Bethel AME Church. There is a sign-up sheet on the bulletin across from the kitchen downstairs. If you have any questions, please contact Cheryl Owen-Watson at
. Thank you in advance for helping our children start their school year with a comfortable, solid foundation!
All monetary donations will be due Sunday, August 27, and all shoe donations are due Sunday, September 3.
Sunday, August 27 at 12 noon: Discover Downtown Eateries
Join us for brunch following the 11:00 am worship service at Chez Foushee. The restaurant is located at 203 N. Foushee Street, on the corner of Grace and Foushee Streets. Everyone will order from a select menu (see bulletin board) and we will each pay for our own meal. Please sign up by August 23 on the bulletin board outside of the kitchen or call the church office at 804-648-8319.
Tuesday, September 5 at 7 m: Centenary Bowling League Organizational Meeting
The Centenary Bowling League will be Initiating it's 79th year with an organizational meeting at Shrader Lanes, 8037 Shrader Rd (near the intersection of Broad and Parham). Join us for fun and fellowship! As the summer winds down, several of us meet on Wednesdays at 6:30 for some casual bowling. If you would like to join us for that, you are more than welcome. For additional information, please contact Mary Dobbs, 262-5801 or
Thursday, September 28: Centenary Travel Group Trip to the Eastern Shore
You are invited to join the Centenary Travel Group for a "Behind the Scenes Tour" of the Eastern Shore of Virginia. We will be leaving Lakeside UMC, via Winn Motor Coach, at 8 a.m. and will arrive at Cape Charles at 11 a.m. for a tour of Northampton County with life-long residents. Then, we will have a delicious lunch at "The Shanty" with Eastern Shore Winning Clam Chowder, Oyster and Shrimp Po-boys, as well as gluten free and vegetarian options. Next we will journey to discover a history of the Eastern Shore with a bus tour of Northampton and Accomack counties and the Barrier Islands of Machipongo, as well as visiting the Virginia Institute of Science in Wachiponga. Finally, we will finish our tour with a buffet dinner at the Island House and will arrive back at Lakeside UMC at 7 p.m. See the bulletin board across from the kitchen for more information, including an itinerary and a reservation form for the trip. All forms, and questions concerning the trip, can be submitted to Bob Almond, 804-833-3355. The cost of the trip is $128.00 per person and forms must be submitted to Bob as soon as possble - there are only a few remaining spaces.
Thursday, November 16: Centenary Travel Group Trip to Selma, North Carolina
Join us for a Centenary Travel Group to Selma. Enjoy some great Christmas shopping at DeWaynes, a one-of-a-kind gift shop and garden center all under one roof! Next, there will be lunch at a local favorite, The Robbins Nest Restaurant. Enjoy their popular "Country Buffet" featuring many delicious hot entrees. Last, but not least, an exciting afternoon of holiday entertainment awaits you at "The American Music Jubilee!" The motor coach will depart Lakeside UMC at 7:30 a.m. and return to Lakeside UMC at 7:00 p.m. The cost is $130.00 per person and includes round-trip motor coach transportation (as well as refreshments served during the trip and driver gratuity), lunch at The Robbins Nest Restaurant, and tickets to "The American Music Jubilee." Payment is due Thursday, October 5. Make check payable to SignaTours and mail to Bob Almond, 1309 Westwood Ave., Richmond, VA 23227. Also see the bulletin board across from the kitchen for flyers and sign-up sheet.
Please Remember in Prayer
The family of Gloria Anderson, who passed away August 11. A memorial service honoring her memory will be held 1 pm Monday, August 21 at Wilson & Associates (located at 5004 Nine Mile Road in Richmond.
Joe Ciucci Jr.
Jack & Lois Hinerman
Jennifer (friend of Nancy Grand with lung problems)
Kassi (niece of Nancy and Vic Grand who has blood clots in lung)
Mary Mismas' sister-in-law, Mary
Linda Vegas (friend of Doug and Patsy Wilson)
Celebrating Birthdays in August
Mary Beth Siddons
Anne Harrison Beck
Photo of the Week
The Prayer Vigil at 3rd Street Bethel AME Church this past Wednesday night.
Visit Us: 411 E. Grace St., Richmond, VA 23219